I cook almost exclusively in cast iron anymore. It is indestructible, fairly non-stick and oven friendly. Every once in a while I get a mess on my hands that is not a pleasure to clean. Baked on meat, cheeses, and other assorted products, even on a well seasoned pan can require a fair amount of elbow grease to get clean, and I won’t use any soap on my cast, even though some people think its OK to do so.
Last Christmas I received a chainmail for cleaning cast iron pans. The premise is the abrasiveness of the chainmail will scour almost anything off the pan. It is one thing that I can’t imagine not having in my kitchen tool chest anymore. Yesterday I made garlicky collard greens with baked eggs for breakfast. When breakfast was done, I had a pan that had baked on eggs, garlic and leeks on it. A little bit of work with the chainmail and it was clean and ready to go in no time. Judge for yourself:
Yesterday’s breakfast was a fairly easy mess. I’ve used it for cleaning baked on sugar glazes, meats and more. If you cook with cast iron, pick one of these up. They can be found from around $10 to $20 and are worth every last penny.